The MediaTek logo as seen at Mobile World Congress 2018.

Taiwan-based MediaTek takes a lot of flak for updates, but the company’s mobile chips are in scores of phones around the world. Figuring out the naming conventions and capabilities of these MediaTek processors though can be a little daunting, though.

Don’t fret! We’ve got a guide to recent MediaTek chips, detailing features, prominent phones, and much more.

MediaTek Helio series

MediaTek’s Helio family is generally its most prominent chipset range, ranging from the brand-new low-end Helio A series to the now-dormant Helio X-range of flagship chips. The most prominent sub-set of chips is the MediaTek Helio P-series, which occupies the lower mid-range to upper mid-range price brackets.

What happened to Helio X?

The Meizu Pro 7 Plus helio x processor

The X30-toting Meizu Pro 7 Plus.

MediaTek is taking “a bit of a break” from its flagship X-series of processors. Last year’s Helio X30 didn’t do nearly as well as it expected, but it still stands out thanks to its decacore (ten cores) 10nm design, comprising eight lightweight Cortex-A53 cores (divided into two clusters) and a dual-core cluster of heavyweight Cortex-A73 cores.

The Meizu Pro 7 Plus is the only major phone to adopt the Helio X30, so chances are good you won’t see anything with it often. Otherwise, the company has seen a few more successful X-series MediaTek chips, such as 2016’s X25 and X20 processors. For now though, MediaTek is focusing on the Helio P family.

MediaTek Helio P90

The MediaTek Helio P90 chipset.

MediaTek didn’t refresh its Helio X series in 2018, but has unveiled a higher-end entry in the P series towards the end of the year – the MediaTek Helio P90.

The Helio P90’s claim to fame is as the company’s first processor to make use of Arm’s DynamIQ technology. This packs the two high-performance Cortex-A75 CPU cores next to six power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores for more efficient multi-tasking with a shared L3 cache. The chip marks a big change from the Cortex A73 and A53 cores used in previous generation designs, offering higher peak single thread performance and superior low-power cores too.

Interestingly, the move to a 2+6 rather than 4+4 design will improve energy efficiency, at the slight expense of peak multi-threaded performance. On paper, this chip is a pretty close competitor to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710.

Editor's Pick

Speaking of that chip, which focuses majorly on AI, the Helio P90 offers a major boost to AI performance too. The APU’s clock speed bumps up from 525 to 624MHz. The P90 also introduces a new AI Accelerator, a specialized MAC unit for doing complicated math used by machine learning applications, and there’s also a dedicated Face Detection Engine too.

On top of all that, the Helio P90 makes use of an Imagination IMG 9XM-HP8 graphics chip. This GPU boasts a graphical boost of over 50 percent compared to the Mali-G72 MP3 used in the Helio P60, Helio P70, and Samsung’s mid-range Exynos 9610. Finally, the chip also supports cameras up to a whopping 48 megapixels in resolution and supports Bluetooth 5.0.

MediaTek Helio P60 and P70

The Realme 1 smartphone.

The Realme 1 smartphone has a Helio P60 processor.

Previously, MediaTek’s most powerful processor this year was the Helio P60, announced at MWC 2018. It stands out as MediaTek’s first chip to include an integrated AI processing unit (APU), a feature usually reserved for flagship devices. This allows for faster and more accurate face and scene detection, better photo quality, and improved augmented reality.

The octacore MediaTek P60 also looks like a decent Snapdragon 660 rival too, owing to the four heavy-lifting Cortex-A73 cores and four power-sipping Cortex-A53 cores. In the graphics department, the Helio P60 uses the newest Mali G72 GPU, albeit in a three core arrangement. By comparison, the international Galaxy S9 uses the same GPU, but with 18 cores. More cores essentially equal much more graphical power in this case.

 MediaTek Helio P90MediaTek Helio P70MediaTek Helio P60
CPU2x Cortex-A75 at 2.2 Ghz
6x Cortex-A55 at 2.0 Ghz
4x Cortex-A73 at 2.1 GHz
4x Cortex-A53 at 2.0 GHz
4x Cortex-A73 at 2.0 GHz
4x Cortex-A53 at 2.0 GHz
GPUIMG 9XM-HP8Mali-G72 MP3 at 900 MHzMali-G72 MP3 at 800 MHz
AIAPU at 624 Mhz
AI Accelerator
APU at 525 MhzAPU at 525 Mhz
Camera25MP + 16MP dual
or 48MP single
24 + 16 MP dual
or 32 MP single
20 + 16 MP dual
or 32 MP single
Manufacturing process12nm12nm12nm

The Helio P60 is capable of 4K recording, supports tall full HD+ screens (2,160 x 1,080), up to 8GB of RAM, and Bluetooth 4.2. The P60 also supports up to 24MP and 16MP dual camera or a single 32MP camera.

The P60 clearly has some premium features (4K recording, AI chip) then, but you won’t be getting Bluetooth 5.0 and 1,440p screens here. It hasn’t seen the same level of adoption as the Snapdragon 660 thus far, but it’s a capable mid-range processor nonetheless.

A smartphone with the Helio P60 varies in price from ~$450 for the Oppo R15 (Oppo’s gonna Op) to just ~$132 for the Realme 1. Oppo is usually overpriced in my opinion, while Realme is Oppo’s new affordable Indian brand (think Huawei’s Honor brand). The real price of a Helio P60 is somewhere in the middle. Heck, the Oppo A3, which looks like the Chinese version of the Realme 1, costs ~$330.

MediaTek ended up designing a sped up version of the P60 called the Helio P70. The core specs are basically the same, including Bluetooth 4.2 support, a 12nm manufacturing process, and Cat-7/Cat-13 cellular speeds. However, each CPU core sees a 100MHz clock speed boost. The Mali-G71 MP3 GPU offers a similar bump up from 800 to 900MHz. The P70 also boasts 30 percent better AI performance, according to the company.

Notable Helio P60 phones: Oppo R15, Oppo A3, Realme 1, Vivo X21i

MediaTek Helio P23, P25 and P30

The Oppo F5 smartphone.

The Oppo F5 uses a Helio P23 chipset.

The Helio P23 and P30 were two of Mediatek’s mid-range processors for 2017 (along with the earlier P25), announced in August.

Both of these MediaTek chips deliver an octacore Cortex-A53 layout clocked at over 2Ghz and a last-generation Mali G71 GPU (albeit with two cores). These chips are built on a 16nm process, which isn’t the smallest or most power-efficient process around, but they should still be more efficient than older chips like the Helio P10.

The Helio P23 and P30 support 2,160 x 1,080 screens and up to 6GB of RAM. The P30 has a few advantages over its P23 stablemate too, such as 4K recording, 16MP (on each lens) dual camera or 25MP single camera support (compared to 13MP and 13MP or 24MP), and a low-power sensor hub for fitness tracking and virtual assistants.

 Helio P30Helio P25Helio P23
CPUOctacore Cortex-A53
2.3Ghz
Octacore Cortex-A53
2.6Ghz
Octacore Cortex-A53
2.3Ghz
GPUMali-G71 MP2
950Mhz
Mali-T880 MP2
1Ghz
Mali-G71 MP2
770Mhz
Camera25MP single, 13MP+13MP dual24MP single,
13MP+13MP dual
24MP single, 13MP+13MP dual
Display2,160 x 1,0801,920 x 1,0802,160 x 1,080
NetworkCat-7 downlink
(301.5Mbps)
Cat-13 uplink
(102Mbps)
Cat-6
(301.5Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)
Cat-7 downlink
(301.5Mbps)
Cat-13 uplink
(102Mbps)
Dual 4G SIM
Process16nm16nm16nm

These MediaTek processors are similar on paper to the Snapdragon 625 and Snapdragon 450 (they all have lightweight octacore CPUs), although the Qualcomm chips are built on a smaller manufacturing process. In other words, you should expect better endurance in theory from the Snapdragon chips. Qualcomm chips traditionally excel at graphics too, so budget-conscious gamers need to take this into consideration.

The Helio P25, launched several months before the P23 and P30, is a similar processor. It still supports 4K recording and an octacore A53 CPU, but uses an older Mali T880 MP2 GPU and tops out at full HD (no full HD+ here).

Notable Helio P23, P25 and P30 phones: Gionee M7 (P30), Meizu Pro 7 (P25), Doogee Mix 2 (P25), Oppo F5 (P23), Vivo Y75 (P23).

MediaTek Helio P22 and A22

Xiaomi Redmi 6 press render showing the device in gold against a gold background.

The Redmi 6 features a Helio P22 processor. MIUI Forum

The Helio P22 and quad-core Helio A22 are two of the newest MediaTek chips, announced just last month. As the name implies, the P22 is less capable on paper than the P23. Meanwhile, the Helio A22 is the first in the company’s A-series — ostensibly a rebrand of its quad-core chips. Nevertheless, both new MediaTek SoCs are built on a 12nm manufacturing process, so expect phones with these chips to deliver good endurance in theory.

The two processors share loads of features, such as support for 13MP+8MP dual/21MP single cameras, a maximum display resolution of 1,600 x 720, a low-power hub for assistants and fitness tracking, Bluetooth 5, and “light AI enhancements” (facial recognition and bokeh effects for instance).

 Helio P22Helio A22
CPUOctacore Cortex-A53
2Ghz
Quad-core Cortex-A53
2Ghz
GPUPowerVR GE8320
650Mhz
PowerVR GE-series
Camera21MP single,
13MP+8MP dual
21MP single,
13MP+8MP dual
Display1,600 x 7201,600 x 720
NetworkCat-4
(150.8Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)
Dual 4G SIM
Cat-4
(150.8Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)
Dual 4G SIM
Process12nm12nm

The MediaTek Helio P22 differs from the A22 by offering an octacore 2Ghz Cortex-A53 CPU and a PowerVR GE8320 GPU aimed at low-cost devices. Meanwhile, the A22 halves the core-count and uses an unnamed PowerVR “GE-class” GPU.

MediaTek told us the P22 is “most comparable” to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450 chip. With the P22-toting Redmi 6 available for ~$124, it’s clear that the processor could bring a solid punch to $150-$200 devices.

Meanwhile, the A22 has found its way into the sub-$100 Redmi 6A, so expect entry-level devices to take a step up in capabilities and endurance.

Notable Helio P22 and A22 phones: Redmi 6 (P22), Vivo Y83 (P22), Redmi 6A (A22)

MediaTek’s MT series

MediaTek also has plenty of other processors in its catalog, using the underlying MTxxxx naming convention instead. The MT675x series is the most capable of the lot, offering octacore chips.

MediaTek’s MT673x range, meanwhile, halves the core count, landing in a ton of entry-level devices around the world. Let’s start with the octacore MediaTek SoCs.

MT675x

Nokia 3.1 smartphone runs on MT675x

The Nokia 3.1.

2016’s MT6750 is essentially the equivalent of the equally old but still capable Snapdragon 430. In fact, the two chips are pretty evenly matched in various benchmarks. The chipset and its variants appeared in scores of budget phones.

The MT6750 delivers an octacore Cortex-A53 CPU (four at 1.5Ghz, four at 1Ghz), an aging Mali T860 MP2 graphics, an old 28nm manufacturing process, and supports up to 4GB of RAM and 1,280 x 720 resolution. It’s not quite as impressive as the Snapdragon 430, which supports full HD screens, but compares pretty favorably nonetheless.

 MT6750MT6755SMT6753MT6752
CPUOctacore Cortex-A53
Four at 1Ghz, Four at 1.5Ghz
Octacore Cortex-A53
2Ghz
Octacore Cortex-A53
Four at 1.5Ghz, Four at 1.3Ghz
Octacore Cortex-A53
1.7Ghz
GPUMali-T860 MP2
520Mhz
Mali-T860 MP2
800Mhz
Mali-T720 MP4
600Mhz
Mali-T760 MP2
700Mhz
Cameras20MP single21MP single16MP single16MP single
Display1,280 x 7202,160 x 1,0801,920 x 1,0801,920 x 1,080
NetworkCat-6 (301.5Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)Cat-6 (301.5Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)Cat-4 (150.8Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)Cat-4 (150.8Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)
Process28nm28nm28nm28nm

The company also recently delivered the MT6755S (called the Helio P18 in some quarters), which offers a higher clocked CPU and GPU and full HD screen support. MediaTek also has two more MT675X variants: the MT6752 and MT6753. These offer different GPUs, full HD display support, and higher clocked cores too.

All in all, expect to find these MediaTek chips in sub-$200 phones and thereabouts. Don’t pay anything more than $250 for a phone with this processor, unless it has extra features like water-resistance, dual-camera support, or a huge battery.

Prominent MT675x series phones: LG K10 2017 (MT6750), LG X Power 2 (MT6750), Asus Zenfone 3S Max (MT6750), Nokia 3.1 (MT6750), Nokia 5.1 (MT6755S), Sony Xperia C5 Ultra (MT6752)

MT673x series

The Moto E4 MT673x series

The Moto E4.

Moving even lower in our review of MediaTek processors, we have the MT673x series (MT6732, MT6735, and more) delivering processors for entry-level smartphones.

These all have quad-core Cortex-A53 CPUs, so they’ll handle web browsing, music playback, and communication apps just fine. Don’t expect fast loading times and super-snappy performance though, as they lack heavy-lifting CPU cores.

 MT6739MT6738MT6737T
CPUQuad-core Cortex-A53
1.5Ghz
Quad-core Cortex-A53
1.5Ghz
Quad-core Cortex-A53
1.5Ghz
GPUPowerVR GE8100
570Mhz
Mali-T860 MP2
350Mhz
Mali-T720 MP2
600Mhz
Camera13MP single13MP single13MP single
Display1,440 x 7201,280 x 7201,920 x 1,080
NetworkCat-4
(150.8Mbps downlink)
Cat-5
(75.4Mbps uplink)
Cat-6 (301.5Mbps downlink, 51Mbps)Cat-4 (150.8Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)
Process28nm28nm28nm

These processors don’t have much graphical power, either, so you should stick to 2D titles and older fare. Emulation fans will struggle with anything beyond the PS1 and N64 era.

 MT6737MT6735MT6732
CPUQuad-core Cortex-A53
1.1 to 1.3Ghz
Quad-core Cortex-A53
1.3Ghz
Quad-core Cortex-A53
1.5Ghz
GPUMali-T720
550-650MHz
Mali-T880 MP2
1Ghz
Mali-T760
500Mhz
Camera13MP single13MP single13MP single
Display1,280 x 7201,280 x 7201,280 x 720
NetworkCat-4
(150.8Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)
Cat-4
(150.8Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)
Cat-4
(150.8Mbps downlink, 51Mbps uplink)
Process28nm28nm28nm

With the exception of the MT6737T, none of these chips support full HD screens. However, the MT6739 is made for today’s trendy tall screens, packing support for 1,440 x 720 displays. If anything, these chips are comparable to Qualcomm’s early Snapdragon 400 chips (400, 410, 425).

You can typically find phones with the MT673X chipset for under $150, like the Moto E4.

Prominent MT673x phones: Sony Xperia E4g (MT6732), LG X Power (MT6735), Moto E4 (MT6737), Alcatel 1X (MT6739), Huawei Y5 Prime 2018 (MT6739)

What’s next for MediaTek?

A MediaTek Helio P60 sign.

You only need to take a look at the Helio P90 chipset for a clue as to where MediaTek is going. The P90 builds on the company’s first major mid-range processor to offer an AI chip, beating Huawei and Qualcomm to the budget punch. Helio P22 and A22 don’t have AI silicon, but as the technology matures we can expect MediaTek’s cheaper chips to sport these capabilities.

Editor's Pick

It’s too early to say whether the company’s decision to focus on the bustling mid-range sector has paid off just yet. We hope MediaTek decides to get back into the flagship game too, as competition between Qualcomm and MediaTek can only bring out the best.

We also hope the company goes the extra mile towards shedding its reputation for tardy (or missing) updates. Sure, many low-cost brands adopt MediaTek chips and abandon their phones (not necessarily the fault of MediaTek then), but more initiatives like the GMS Express service can only help matters.

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